Normalising Apple Lossless?

wicker_man

Active Member
I was wondering, is it possible to normalise Apple Lossless files?

If so, what software can be used (I use a Mac) to do this?

Or, if there is any normalising software for FLAC or AIFF, could I convert ALAC to it to normalise, then convert back?

I currently rip my CDs to Apple Lossless (via iTunes) and store it on an external hard drive, and convert a copy to 320kbps MP3 for my main iTunes library to transfer to my iPod and mobile phones. All of my MP3s are normalised (using MacMP3Gain) so they all sound the same level.

However, recently I was experimenting with different bit rates and lossless encoding and was considering using the ALAC albums in my library along with MP3 music that I have previously ripped and do not have the CD or a lossless copy. But, since the Lossless tracks are much louder than the normalised MP3s, it is a bit of a pain having to adjust the volume, especially on my iPod using canalphones and the track is louder.

At the moment, I do not have 'good' enough equipment to tell the difference between MP3 and lossless (main setup is MacBook Pro using integrated audio headphone output to a Panasonic SC-PM17 mini system aux input, portable setup is a 160GB iPod Classic with JVC Marshmallows). However, hopefully this summer (depending on getting a job), I want to replace my Panasonic system with an amp + bookshelf speakers and possibly get a cheap USB DAC (or utilise the optical output in MBP), and get some better canalphones/headphones + portable amp for my iPod.

Thanks for any advice.
 

spl23

Well-known Member
This is built into iTunes and the iPod - in iTunes Preferences, turn on "Sound Check", and resynchronise your library. Then turn on "Sound Check" in the Settings menu on the iPod. As I understand it, Sound Check is just normalisation to set volume for all tracks to the same peak levels - see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61655 for details.
 
although a quote from that page you linked to does state that

... Sound Check works with .mp3, .AAC, .wav, and .aiff file types. It does not work with other file types that iTunes can play.

so you might be out of luck with the ALAC :suicide:
 

spl23

Well-known Member
although a quote from that page you linked to does state that

... Sound Check works with .mp3, .AAC, .wav, and .aiff file types. It does not work with other file types that iTunes can play.

so you might be out of luck with the ALAC :suicide:
Ah, good point - hadn't spotted that. I've just tried it in iTunes, and when I turned Sound Check on, it scanned the MP3s and AACs in my library but not the three albums on there as Apple Lossless. That said, it certainly does *something* on ALAC files, at least within iTunes - playback volume drops noticeably on several tracks when you turn it on. Might be worth trying it - wouldn't be the first time an Apple technical document has been wrong or out of date, and I can think of no technical reason why you couldn't normalise an ALAC file.
 

wicker_man

Active Member
I did try sound check, but the lossless files were still louder than MP3 files.
 

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